Last week in that awkward hour before dinner, where you don't really want to start anything because you know you need to start making dinner but you also need to find something for kids to do because they are getting tired and cranky, the Bee asked to paint. "Great" I said "but lets use watercolors." That somehow seemed less messy and more manageable at the dinner hour. The Bee however was not thrilled with my response. In fact she replied with the something about how boring just watercolors was. Rather then give some art teachery speech about the awesomness of watercolors, I said how about watercolor and salt (a technique I used to use back in my art teacher days.) Somehow the addition of salt made the whole thing much less boring and the Bee was sold.
I quickly set up the table with some watercolor paper, a pan of liquid watercolors (my favorite for little ones, especially toddlers), some water, brushes, crayons and two little cups of table salt. I told the girls that if they sprinkled a little salt onto their painting something cool would happen. The Bee played around with putting salt on the paper then painting on top as well, painting and then sprinkling salt on while it was still wet and even mixing a little salt into the paints or water. The Bean did her own thing. She painted for a bit, then poured all the salt out onto her paper, mixed a little watercolors into the salt and then drew in the salt. Which was not exactly what I had intended but worked well too. After they finished we set the paintings aside to dry. The next morning the Bee helped me wipe all the salt off the painting. She loved seeing the results of what the salt had done to the paint. In some places it left color changes, in others textures and patterns. This was definitely a good experiment in process. Although the finished painting were beautiful too. I foresee some more watercolor and salt painting in our future!